Our Plan for

Central Queensland

Key Points

The Morrison Government is committed to working with the communities of Central Queensland to build a strong economy, open up new job opportunities and support the essential services Central Queenslanders rely on.

Supporting the economy of Central Queensland means backing small and family businesses and standing up for traditional industries like resources, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Only the Morrison Government will back these industries and the thousands of jobs they support.

A re-elected Morrison Government will build a stronger economy for all of Central Queensland, allowing us to guarantee and improve essential services. We will:

  • Invest in new infrastructure to grow the Central Queensland economy and improve road safety, including the Rockhampton Ring Road and Gladstone Port Access Road extension.
  • Support new resource development in Queensland, having completed Commonwealth environment approvals required to start the Adani Carmichael project, with conditions to ensure protection of the environment.
  • Create a first-class conference facility by investing up to $20 million in the Keppel Bay Sailing Club Convention and Sporting Hub.
  • Support Central Queensland farmers including helping farmers through the drought and developing new opportunities for beef and other sectors.
  • Invest in water infrastructure to expand agriculture, including the Urannah Dam, Rookwood Weir and Mogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme.
  • Back small and family businesses, with lower taxes and an increase in the instant asset tax write-off to $30,000 now expanded to medium-sized businesses.
  • Improve Energy affordability for families and businesses with a $10 million investment into the business case for new affordable energy supplies in Central Queensland and new Energy Assistance Payments for social security recipients.
  • Deliver Central Queenslanders the largest personal income tax relief since the Howard Government, with tax relief of up to $1,080 for single income families earning up to $126,000. For a dual income family that’s up to $2,160 in families’ pockets.
  • Boost funding for Central Queensland healthcare, with new funding for cancer services, new treatments, preventative health and mental health.
  • Invest in Defence infrastructure and facilities providing opportunities for small to medium sized business to secure long-term work.
  • Protect the Reef by continuing our Great Barrier Reef Partnership Program.
  • Keep communities safe by maintaining strong borders, increasing funding for Safer Communities, and implementing comprehensive plans to address drugs, domestic violence and online safety.

The Morrison Government believes that, working together, we can create a stronger Central Queensland, but this could all be put at risk with a return to Labor. Under Labor, the Central Queensland economy will be sent backwards with its plans to impose billions of dollars in new taxes, a 45 per cent emissions target and its attacks on mining and agriculture.

Major industries in Central Queensland would be faced with a 45 per cent emissions target and higher energy costs. These are costs borne by industries and passed on to households and small businesses in higher costs – higher electricity costs, higher gas costs, refrigerant prices and waste charges. Labor’s car tax would also push up the cost of SUVs and utes by up to $5,000. Labor will also hit Queensland farmers with more environmental regulation.

Labor’s economic and budget mismanagement means the services Central Queenslanders rely on, like health, education and roads, would also be put at risk.

Our Record

Central Queensland has been a major focus of the Liberal Nationals Government since we were first elected in 2013.

To deliver a stronger Central Queensland economy we have invested significantly in infrastructure, including:

  • $10 billion package of improvements to the Bruce Highway with projects including the $800 million Rockhampton Ring Road, over $677 million for stages of the Mackay Ring Road and $96.8 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade.
  • $166 million for the Walkerston Bypass west of Mackay.
  • $120 million for the Walkerston Bypass west of Mackay.
  • $60 million to duplicate the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere and $15 million for overtaking lanes along the highway.
  • $20 million for the Rockhampton Road Network under our Beef Roads program.
  • $20 million for Philip Street in Gladstone.

We have also strengthened digital and communications infrastructure. The NBN has been rolled out to more than 78 per cent of Queensland we’ve invested in over 200 mobile blackspot base stations state-wide, including almost 50 in Central Queensland.

Our Government is prioritising regional economic development. We have delivered an Indigenous Business Sector Strategy and set targets for government contracts which have lifted the number of Indigenous businesses winning Commonwealth contracts from 30 in 2012-13 to over 1400 today. We stood up for the sugar industry by introducing a mandatory code of conduct and are taking strong action in the WTO against unfair international subsidies. We have also invested in important local projects:

  • $25 million for the construction of the South Rockhampton Flood Levee.
  • $10 million to upgrade Central Queensland University’s Gladstone marina site.
  • $5.8 million for the Tropical Pines fruit processing facility.
  • $5 million for the Signature Onfarm beef processing facility.

We recognise the critical contribution of the resources sector to Central Queensland’s future and have completed Commonwealth environment approvals required to start the construction of the Adani Carmichael project, with conditions to ensure protection of the environment.

Strengthening the economy has allowed us to guarantee the services Central Queenslanders rely on.

Our strong economic and Budget management means we’ve been able to deliver:

  • Record funding for Queensland public hospitals – increasing by 84 per cent from $2.7 billion in 2012-13 under Labor to $4.9 billion in 2019-20 under the Liberal Nationals Government's National Health Reform Agreement.
  • Cheaper medicines for Queenslanders with more than 2,000 new medicine listings on the PBS since we were elected in 2013, including life-saving drugs for cancer.
  • More funding for Queensland schools with a total of $65.1 billion from 2019 to 2029 – equal to growth of over 74 per cent.
  • Child care reforms which have cut out-of-pocket costs for parents within the first nine months by around 8.9 per cent.
  • Major commitment to aged care with $21.6 billion in 2019-20 across Australia, including funding for an additional 10,000 home care packages and a Royal Commission into the sector.

We’ve also prioritised creating a safer Central Queensland including investments under the Safer Communities Fund for CCTV cameras, security lighting, alarm systems for community spaces and other infrastructure.

The Liberal National Government has maintained strong borders: we stopped the boats, stopped the deaths at sea, removed children from detention and have cancelled the visas of thousands of criminals, over 1,100 in Queensland.

Our Plan

Record funding for roads

A stronger Central Queensland economy starts with investing more in infrastructure to unlock economic potential, ensure quicker and safer travel and help businesses efficiently transport products.

As part of the 2019-20 Budget, we have locked in a further $4 billion over the next decade for land transport infrastructure in Queensland, bringing our total investment to over $25 billion. Projects that will benefit Central Queensland include:

  • $800 million for the Rockhampton Ring Road as part of our $10 billion of upgrades to the Bruce Highway.
  • $100 million for the Gladstone Port Access Road extension, addressing safety concerns around the port and improving freight productivity and access.
  • Further projects under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, including:
    • $254 million for the Mt Isa to Rockhampton corridor, including
    • $64 million for the Yeppoon Road duplication.
    • $100 million for the Townsville to Roma corridor.
  • A re-elected Morrison Government will also invest up to $20 million to replace the John Peterson Bridge over the Boyne River.

We will also ensure Central Queensland gets its fair share of our $2.2 billion National Road Safety Package, which includes additional funding of $1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery Program; $550 million for the Black Spots Program; $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and $275 million for bridges renewal funding.

A first-class conference facility for the Capricorn Coast

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest up to $20 million to deliver the Keppel Bay Sailing Club Convention and Sporting Hub.

The project involves the redevelopment of the existing Keppel Bay Sailing Club sites to create a new conference facility, retail spaces and other infrastructure.

This project is a game-changer for the Capricorn Coast. It will host thousands of guests, create local jobs and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.

More visitors to the region means more heads on beds, more customers in local cafes, restaurants and boutiques and more money back in the pockets of local business people.

Supporting Central Queensland farmers

Central Queensland farmers hit by drought are being supported through the $6.3 billion we are providing to help farmers and rural communities in need now and strengthen their preparedness and resilience for the future.

This includes the new Future Drought Fund which will grow to $5 billion and provide $100 million each year to help farmers and regional communities to prepare for, and respond to, the impacts of drought.

The Morrison Government has actively pursued trade and market access opportunities for the region’s farmers. We have successfully negotiated 8 new trade agreements including with our major export markets of China, Japan and Korea. As a result, beef exports to these markets have increased by up to 34.5% to a total value of $4.3 billion in 2017-18.

We are investing in important projects to grow the local agricultural industry and create more jobs, including:

  • A $6 million co-investment with Meat and Livestock Australia for priority research into pasture dieback in Central Queensland. Dieback is a serious issue for graziers and the $11.5 billion beef industry. The project will focus on the insect mealybug (believed to be the culprit) and build the knowledge necessary to eventually stop it and the spread of dieback.
  • $3.9 million to support the delivery of Beef Australia 2021, Australia’s largest and internationally renowned beef industry exposition held in Rockhampton every three years. The event attracts visitors from around Australia and the world and facilitates new trade and export opportunities.
  • Up to an additional $2.5 million for the Isis Central Sugar Mill’s proposed Wallaville cane railway project to help secure thousands of extra tonnes of cane and open up more cane production across the region, on top of our initial $2.5 million investment in the project.
Investing in water infrastructure

The Morrison Government is delivering priority water infrastructure projects that will drive economic growth and support local communities in Central Queensland.

Earlier this year we increased the Water Infrastructure Development Fund by more than $500 million, bringing our investment to fast-track water infrastructure to over $1.3 billion. The benefits for Central Queensland include:

  • $176 million for Rookwood Weir to expand irrigated agriculture in the Lower Fitzroy and deliver an estimated 2,100 jobs.
  • $10 million for pre-construction works and a business case for the Urannah Dam.
  • Up to $3.01 million for the Nogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme.

The Liberal National Government will continue to support water infrastructure development in Central Queensland and elsewhere to expand our agricultural industry and secure water supplies for local communities.

Supporting small and family businesses

Small and family businesses are central to the Morrison Government’s economic plan for Central Queensland. They are the engine room of our economy, with Central Queensland’s 48,000 small and medium businesses employing thousands of workers. When small businesses are healthy, all Australians are better off. It means more jobs, more choice, better living standards and more vibrant and connected communities.

The Morrison Government wants small businesses to prosper. We want them to employ even more Australians.

So we are lowering taxes – the business tax rate for small and medium-sized companies has been reduced from 30 per cent to 27.5 per cent and will fall further to 25 per cent in 2021-22. Unincorporated Queensland small businesses are receiving help to get ahead with the Government’s increase in the unincorporated tax discount.

As part of the 2019-20 Budget, we delivered an increase to the instant asset write-off threshold to $30,000 until 30 June 2020. We also expanded access to include medium-sized businesses by increasing the annual turnover threshold from $10 million to $50 million. These changes delivered a much-needed boost to agricultural, tourism, retail, hospitality and other small and medium-sized businesses in Central Queensland.

Small and family businesses in Central Queensland can trust the Morrison Government to back them with other announced measures, including streamlining red tape and simplifying tax reporting; helping them to expand by increasing access to finance with the $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund and ensuring they get paid on time by government and big business.

Lower taxes for hard-working Queenslanders

The Morrison Government is lowering taxes for hard-working Queenslanders as part of our plan to deliver a stronger economy and even more record job creation.

Our tax system must be fair for all Australians. Our Personal Income Tax Plan delivers lower taxes for Central Queenslanders, ensuring they keep more of what they earn. The enhanced plan will result in a better tax system, with greater reward for effort while ensuring top earners pay their fair share.

Around 170,000 lower and middle income earners in Central Queensland will receive relief of up to $1,080 after they lodge their 2018-19 tax return. That’s up to $2,160 for dual income families. These benefits are then locked in for subsequent years.

A re-elected Morrison Government will also deliver long-term structural reform by lowering the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 per cent from 1 July 2024. As a result, around 94 per cent of Australian taxpayers will benefit from a marginal tax rate of 30 per cent or less in 2024-25.

Our Government’s strong fiscal management means that we can deliver surpluses while also rewarding hard-working Australians and easing cost of living pressures.

Strengthening the Central Queensland health system

The Morrison Government’s health plan for Queensland will protect, improve and save lives.

It builds on the record funding we have provided for Queensland public hospitals, with an 95.6 per cent increase in funding since 2012-13, record levels of bulk billing and more than 2000 new medicines listings subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Funding for Queensland public hospitals will increase from $2.7 billion in 2012-13 to $4.9 billion in 2018-19 and is on track to increase to $6.8 billion under a new hospitals agreement. Our new hospitals agreement will deliver an additional $7 billion to Queensland Hospitals over five years.

Our Health Plan for Central Queensland strengthens the health system by providing affordable and accessible health services, including:

  • Greater hospital and health services and infrastructure, including:
    • $7 million for a new multi-level car park
    • $0.52 million for Ozcare drug and alcohol services
    • $0.14 million for Breaking the Barrier pilot study with the Central Queensland Multicultural Association
  • More cancer services with $92.5 million for new MRIs across Queensland, including at Central Queensland Radiology Gladstone.
  • Better mental health support, with $15.4 million to support seven new headspace services across Queensland including in Sarina, and Emerald.
  • More funding for preventative health, with $12 million for the Heart of Australia to support and expand mobile cardiology and other services for rural Queenslanders.
  • Our $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy – delivering 3,000 extra doctors and more than 3,000 extra nurses and allied health professionals across Australia and in Central Queensland, including $84.1 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide dental care, mental health services and emergency aeromedical services.
  • Medical research – access to new treatment and clinical trials through the $100 million National Rural and Regional Clinical Trial Centre Program, with sites to be implemented that will improve access to new treatments for people including in Central Queensland.
Supporting affordable and reliable energy

The Morrison Government is committed to lower power prices while keeping the lights on.

We understand rising power prices are hurting Australian families struggling with the cost of living and preventing small businesses from employing more people and expanding.

The Morrison Government has announced a $10 million program to address supply and affordability issues in North and Central Queensland, and support large energy users such as aluminum smelters, cement producers, and irrigators battling excessively high energy prices. Industries such as these, which play a vital role in Queensland’s economy, have struggled to obtain long term competitively priced electricity contracts.

We are also investing:

  • $50.4 million to help regional communities invest in new micro-grids. The Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund will support up to 50 off-grid and fringe-of-grid communities: investigating whether establishing a micro-grid is cost-effective and if technology can upgrade existing off-grid capabilities.
  • $50 million in the Energy Efficient Communities Program for more than 2,500 grants to eligible businesses and community organisations across Australia including community groups in central Queensland. In Central Queensland, we are supporting community groups with grants of up to $12,500 each to invest in solar and battery systems to reduce energy costs.
  • $365 million for Energy Assistance Payments of $75 for singles and $125 for couples to four million eligible social security payment recipients – to help with their next power bill and cost of living expenses.

As recommended by the ACCC, our Underwriting New Generation Investments program will also lower prices, increase competition and boost reliability.

In Central Queensland, the majority of generation and networks are controlled by the Queensland State Labor Government, which has failed to address affordability concerns in Queensland, while announcing a record $1.65 billion for the state’s coffers thanks to government-owned generators/retailers.

Labor's reckless 45% emissions target and 50% renewable energy target will push up wholesale electricity prices by 58% and deliver greater profits to Queensland Government owned electricity generators and networks.

Investing in Defence infrastructure and facilities

Central Queensland is home to one of the most important Defence training areas in the nation – the 453,700 hectare Shoalwater Bay Training Area, which has been in use since 1965.

As part of the Coalition Government’s 2016 Defence White Paper, around $190 million was allocated for infrastructure upgrades and other projects over the decade to 2026. Under the Coalition’s Local Industry Capability Plan pilot, 80 per cent of the sub-contracts for the Shoalwater Bay Remediation Project have been awarded to local businesses in the Rockhampton and Livingstone regions.

Further, under the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI) Facilities Project, work is commencing by the end of 2019 on a five-year $800 million project to deliver enhanced military training areas at Shoalwater Bay. Under the Coalition’s Local Industry Capability Plan, over 80 per cent of the work arising from this project will be sourced from the Central Queensland region, ensuring local businesses can take advantage of this important initiative.

The ASMTI is a key achievement of the Coalition Government as part of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore. It will see $2.25 billion invested in Central and North Queensland, with a strong focus on local industry participation, both as part of infrastructure works as well as ongoing support to the Australian Defence Force and Singaporean Defence Force utilising the training areas, bringing jobs, skills and economic activity to the region.

Protecting the Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is not only a natural wonder – it’s a huge economic driver, particularly in Central Queensland.

The Reef contributes 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in economic value every year.

We will continue to roll out the $443.3 million Great Barrier Reef Partnership Program as part of our more than $1.2 billion Reef investment.

This funding is supporting proven reef protection activities such as improving water quality, crown-of-thorns starfish control, community action and scientific research and development to find new ways of restoring and protecting the Reef.

Safer and more secure Queensland communities

The Morrison Government is committed to supporting the safety and security of Central Queensland communities.

We will deliver a comprehensive suite of national actions that will help keep people in Central Queensland safe.

As well as maintaining strong borders and cancelling visas of criminals, Central Queensland will benefit from our national plans to:

  • Support local councils and community organisations in crime prevention activities (as well as protect schools, religious institutions and other sites from religious and racial intolerance) with CCTV cameras, security lighting, alarm systems and other infrastructure. This will be delivered through a further $58.2 million investment in the Safer Communities Fund.
  • Deliver a comprehensive drug strategy to address the supply, demand and harm caused by illicit drugs with a five-year $337 million investment. This includes $152 million to strengthen law enforcement to disrupt and reduce the supply of illicit drugs – including targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs.
  • Take action against domestic violence, with a record investment of $328 million for prevention and frontline services to support the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
  • Deliver a comprehensive plan to improve online safety, including funding a $10 million Online Safety Grants program to deliver practical online safety education and training projects; continuing to protect kids online through our world-first e-safety Commissioner and establishing an Online Safety Charter to set expectations for social media companies.

The Choice

There is a lot at stake at this election. And there is a clear choice.

A choice between a Government that is delivering a strong economy or a Labor Party that would weaken our economy.

A choice between a Government that is fixing the Budget or a Labor Party that can’t manage money.

A choice between a Government that is easing the pressure on families by lowering taxes or a Labor Party that will put more strain on households by imposing $387 billion in new taxes on workers, retirees and small business.

A choice between a Government that can afford to pay for better infrastructure and services or a Labor Party that would max out Australia’s credit card.

A choice between a Government that has secured our borders and is keeping Australians safe or a Labor Party that has learned nothing from its border security failures.

Central Queensland cannot afford Labor governments at both the federal and state levels. Labor can’t manage money and they can’t manage the economy. When Labor can’t manage money, they come after yours.

In 2017-18 the Queensland Labor Government cut activity funding by $8.7 million for the Central Queensland Health Service and $1.7 million form the Mackay Health Service. This is what happens when you can’t manage money, and it provides a taste of what Central Queensland can expect under a Shorten Labor Government.

Labor plans to hit Australians with $387 billion in big new taxes which will hurt Central Queenslanders:

  • Labor’s retiree tax will punish older Australians who have worked hard and saved for retirement by abolishing tax refunds on share dividends. In Central Queensland, this will affect over 15,000 individuals who have direct shareholdings and many more invested through self-managed super funds. On average individuals with direct holdings will lose almost $2,300 a year and self-managed super funds will lose $12,000 a year.
  • Labor’s housing and investment taxes will end negative gearing as we know it, and increase capital gains tax by 50 per cent. If you own your own home it will be worth less, and if you rent you will pay more.
  • Labor would impose higher income tax by reversing the Government’s legislated income tax plan and the enhancements we announced in the 2019-20 Budget. Our plan will ensure 94 per cent of taxpayers will pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar. This would leave over 130,000 people in Central Queensland worse off.
  • Labor’s Family Business Tax would impose a minimum tax rate of 30 per cent on the 6,000 small businesses in Central Queensland structured through discretionary trusts. This is the same rate imposed on large multinational companies.

On top of this, Labor’s reckless emissions targets will:

  • Cost the economy $472 billion.
  • Slash more than 336,000 jobs.
  • Cut the average wage by over $9,000.
  • Increase wholesale electricity prices by more than 58%.

Labor’s car tax will also increase the cost of SUVs and utes by up to $5,000 and reduce choice of vehicles.

Central Queensland will be particularly hard hit with higher electricity and gas prices, higher costs of refrigeration and higher transport costs.

There are costs that Central Queensland businesses and workers can’t afford.

Labor’s reckless carbon hit list targeting 250 firms will have a disproportionate impact on Central Queensland, adding substantial costs on organisations which employ thousands of workers. Firms at risk include beef processing, alumina refineries, aluminium smelters, coal producers, LNG plants, sugar refiners and chemical plants.

Labor also can’t be trusted with supporting Central Queensland industries like mining and agriculture, with a massive new Environmental Protection Authority planned in Canberra.

By contrast, the Morrison Government has a plan for lower taxes so that you can keep more of the money you earn. We also have a fully costed $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Plan that will ensure we meet and beat our international targets without wrecking the economy. In Gladstone, we are supporting the Benaraby Landfill to reduce emissions and generate energy through the Emissions Reduction Fund.

We have a comprehensive plan to bring down electricity prices by increasing competition in Central Queensland projects to underwrite generation and develop micro-grid energy solutions.

There will be only one outcome for Central Queensland under Labor – a weaker economy, fewer jobs and higher taxes. Labor can’t be trusted to run the economy and manage the Budget. And they can’t be trusted to invest in services that Central Queenslanders rely on, including health, education and roads.

The Choice

Cost

The Coalition’s plan for Central Queensland will not place additional costs on the Budget.